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Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies Paperback – August 17, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0415918589 ISBN-10: 0415918588

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (August 17, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415918588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415918589
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,100 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"To save our families, nothing is more important than ending the spiral of violence. Here at last is a psychiatrist and activist whose programs can help adults to uproot the original trauma, and stop repeating the violence that was done to them. Creaing Sanctuary shows us how to save future children from abuse, empty our over-crowded jails, and rescue this nation from leaders who see violence as normal.." -- Gloria Steinem

About the Author

Dr. Sandra Bloom is the Executive Director of the Sanctuary at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia and President of the Alliance for Creative Development. She has worked in inpatient psychiatric settings for thirty years.

More About the Author

Dr. Sandra L. Bloom is a Board-Certified psychiatrist, currently Associate Professor of Health Management and Policy and Co-Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Social Justice at the School of Public Health of Drexel University in Philadelphia ( From 1980-2001, Dr. Bloom was the Medical Director of the Sanctuary programs and her first book, "Creating Sanctuary: Toward the Evolution of Sane Societies" described the experience of Dr. Bloom and her colleagues as they learned what it meant to become "trauma-informed". Her second book, "Bearing Witness: Violence and Collective Responsibility" drew upon her experiences treating trauma survivors and the public health implications of violence. In 2005, Dr. Bloom partnered with Andrus Children's Center in establishing the Sanctuary Institute to train a wide variety of human service delivery programs in the Sanctuary Model, a trauma-informed approach to organizational change. She currently serves as Distinguished Fellow of Andrus Children's Center ( and has helped to train over 100 programs nationally and internationally in adopting the Sanctuary Model. These programs include residential settings for children, group homes, schools, substance abuse programs, shelters, outpatient facilities, child welfare agencies and juvenile justice programs. Dr. Bloom is a Past-President of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. A new book, co-authored with Brian Farragher, the C.O.O. at Andrus Children's Center is titled, "Destroying Sanctuary: The Crisis in Human Service Delivery" was published by Oxford University Press in 2010. The third volume of the series, "Restoring Sanctuary", is due for publication by Oxford University Press in 2011. She maintains a website at

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By on August 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
By Dr. Ian Irvine, co-editor The Animist Creating Sanctuary is a powerful piece of writing by an almost extinct professional breed - the psychiatrist/psychologist prepared to examine the bigger picture in regards to the causes of psychic distress in modern Western societies. The book undoubtably belongs to a long tradition of humanistic and Freudian writings on mental illness as produced by modern Western social structures. The title itself recalls Fromm's book 'The Sane Society' and I would argue that in many ways Bloom has given us a powerful update on themes covered in that now classic work. One also thinks of works by Arthur Janov (especially his work on trauma suppression), Alice Miller, De Mauss, Mickel Adzema, Wilhelm Reich (and the Bioenergetic tradition), Stanislav Grof and many others who have applied Freudian and Humanistic ideas to the social arena. In this sense the work is also in a kind of refracted dialogue with that great Freudian text Civilisation and its Discontents. The picture of modern society - particularly modern American society - painted for us by Bloom is not a pretty one. Sanity and psychic health is seen as a virtual impossibility in the face of a normalised climate of repression and institutionalised trauma creation. The central obsessions of our consumeristic, violence and money obsessed modern world are described in terms of a general malaise polluting and undermining the psychic integrity of individuals and collectives alike. Bloom accurately describes to us a world characterised by institutional harshness, denial (that there even is a crisis!) and outright disinterest in the truly important issues to do with trauma and violence that now shape our collective social psyches.Read more ›
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 1998
Format: Paperback
A very moving account of the impact of violence on our lives and what it takes to create an environment where we can recover from our wounds. Dr. Bloom's call for a therapeutic approach to violence stands in stark contrast to popular proposals for meeting violence with more violence. In a violence-traumatized society, Creating Sanctuary belongs at the top of our social agenda.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book tremendously. This is the most understandable and clearly written text I have ever read relating to the psychology field. There is no "psycho babble" here, folks. Anybody with an eighth grade education should be able to understand what the author is trying to say.
The author obviously believes in treating patients with tremendous dignity and respect. While this program is mainly inpatient focused to benefit those of us who are unfortunate enough to need more than a little help in carrying our life's baggage, as it were, reading this book makes very clear to me the way in which many situations I faced as a child effect my adult life that I have never really completely understood. The author says, in the most compassionate and definitive way, IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! The author should be commended for her fine work and that of her team of obviously exceptional and gifted health care providers. The author must be one of the "real doctors" in todays environment, and they are darned hard to find.
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